Numbers 4

* The Levites' service. (1-3) The duties of the Kohathites.

(4-20) The duties of the Gershonites and Merarites. (21-33) The

numbers of the serviceable Levites. (34-49)

1-3 The middle-aged men of the tribe of Levi, all from thirty

years old to fifty, were to be employed in the service of the

tabernacle. The service of God requires the best of our

strength, and the prime portion of our time, which cannot be

better spent than to the honour of Him who is the First and

Best. And the service of God should be done when we are most

lively and active. Those do not consider this who put off

repentance to old age, and so leave the best work to be done in

the worst time.
4-20 The Kohathites were to carry the holy things of the

tabernacle. All the holy things were to be covered; not only for

security and respect, but to keep them from being seen. This not

only marked the reverence due to holy things, but the mystery of

the things signified by those types, and the darkness of the

dispensation. But now, through Christ, the case is altered, and

we are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace.
21-33 We have here the charge of the other two families of the

Levites, which, though not so honourable as the first, yet was

necessary, and to be done regularly. All the things were

delivered them by name. It intimates the care God takes of his

church and every member of it. The death of the saints is

represented as the taking down of the tabernacle, #2Co 5:1|, and

the putting it off, #2Pe 1:14|. All shall be raised up in the

great day, when these vile bodies shall be made like the

glorious body of Jesus Christ, and so shall be for ever with the

Lord.
34-49 God so ordered it, that though the Merarites were the

fewest in number, yet they should have most able men among them;

for whatever service God calls men to, he will furnish them for

it, give strength in proportion to the work, and grace

sufficient. The least of the tribes had many more able men than

the Levites: those who engage in the service of this world, are

many more than those devoted to the service of God. May our

souls be wholly devoted to his service.
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